Exploring Hawaii – Six Experiences that will Deepen Your Connection to the Earth 

There are few places on this amazing planet quite like the Hawaiian islands. With it’s diverse terrain, rich cultural heritage, and majestic waters teeming with marine life, it’s one of the easiest places to simply lose yourself in the beauty of nature. Each island has it’s own story to tell so here are six experiences that will deepen your connection not only to the islands but the rest of the Earth as well by highlighting just how amazing and sacred Hawaii is.
1. Witness the sunrise on Haleakala in Maui.
Haleakala translates to “House of the Sun, ” and it is here that the demi-god Maui lassoed the Sun in order to make the days pass more slowly. Waking up at 3AM and making your way up a dark, cold crater as the piercing wind whips around you may not sound like the ideal way to start the day, but I promise as you witness the first rays of the Sun kiss the earth from high above the clouds it will be worth it, and definitely something you will not soon forget.
2. Hike the Hanakapiai Trail in Kauai.
The Na Pali Coast on Kauai is home to some of the most wild, natural beauty in the world. There are multiple ways to discover the majesty of the Na Pali Coast but the best way to feel closer to Mother Nature is to simply walk among her! This trail is roughly 8 miles round trip and leads you first to Hanakapiai Beach, then to the waterfall. You will traverse a rainforest ripe with wild fruit, behold amazing beach views, and walk through a quiet bamboo forest. This was one of the most difficult hikes I have ever done. I got muddy, crossed multiple rivers, climbed rocks, lost sight of the trail a couple times, and slipped and fell (thankfully not off a cliff), but once I made it back I have a new appreciation for Mother Earth and how much she can challenge as well as provide for us.

3. Jump off the rock on Waimea Bay in Oahu.
   It’s quite exhilarating to climb up a huge rock and hurdle yourself 35-40 feet into the mercy of the ocean. I was extremely hesitant to jump once I climbed up but a fearless local, (who was doing backflips, and “starfishes” off the cliff)  gave me some great advice, “The longer you stare at it, the scarier it gets. Have faith that the ocean will catch you.” Once I allowed myself to let go of the edge and plunge into the water below, I instantly felt free and couldn’t wait to do it again.
4. Find secluded beaches in Lanai.
 When there are tons of other people vying for a spot next to you on the sand, it can be tough to reflect and enjoy the spray of the ocean, the sounds of the waves, and the warmth of the sun. But on Lanai, you can go hours without seeing another person on a beach if you venture away from the resorts. Just a short climb down a beach bluff next to Pu’u Pehe (Sweetheart rock) , my love and I found an enclosed cove and spent the afternoon collecting shells, watching the catamarans float in the distance, and climbing rocks into a hidden cave. After a few hours of just the two of us, another party found the beach and made their way down the bluff as we were climbing up to let them enjoy the beach. Some of the best moments to connect with the earth are the quiet, relaxing moments on the beach and on Lanai there are plenty of secluded places to rest and reconnect.
5.Visit Volcanos National Park on The Big Island.
The Big Island is where you will find some of the most diverse natural features in the islands like black sand beaches, snow atop Mauna Kea, rain forests, waterfalls, and Kilauea, a continuously active volcano. This island is also home to Madame Pele, one of the most revered deities in Hawaiian legend. Hiking through Volcanoes National Park, it is hard to deny her power as you watch lava flow into the ocean creating new land before your eyes.

6. Discover the deeper meaning of Hula on Molokai.
The hula you see in movies, luaus, and even competitions are just a tiny fraction of the actual significance of this sacred art form. Hula preserves the history of the Hawaiian people with each motion having a significant meaning in the story that can represent plants, animals, people, and gods. Natural materials are traditionally used to make the costumes. Dancing hula is like having a spiritual link between humans, nature, and the heavens. It is believed that hula was first danced by the goddess Laka on the island of Molokai. This event is commemorated on Molokai each year with a celebration of history, culture and pure hula dancing.
The Hawaiian islands are truly a special place on earth! When you visit, take time to venture away from the luaus and lights of Honolulu to fully appreciate their true, natural beauty.



Jamie is a writer with a passion for Travel, History and Nature. As a hula dancer of over fifteen years she has developed a deep appreciation for Hawaiian History and Culture. When she is not out exploring this big, beautiful world with her husband, you can find her at home in sunny San Diego enjoying a good book, binging on Outlander and Buffy reruns, or hanging out in her parents’ beautiful garden.


To follow along with Jamie:
Instagram: @jamiebethlaird
Twitter: @JamieBLaird

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